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JOHANNESBURG - The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) said on Thursday that it will call for a meeting with the minister of public enterprises Pravin Gordhan and the Eskom board in a bid to break the deadlock over protracted wage negotiations at the power utility.

Irvin Jim, Numsa general-secretary, said the union wanted to warn Eskom management to withdraw a threat of disciplinary action and dismissal against many of its members for their demonstrations and protests during the negotiations, or else they will embark on a strike.

"That is why we have also resolved to call for a meeting this coming Monday between the board and Minister Pravin Gordhan to deliberate on this matter with an intention to find a solution that can resolve the current deadlock," Jim said.

"We are hoping to meet with the minister on Monday. If this fails, we will have to consult our members to determine whether to embark on protected strike action. We are confident that the Labour Court will set aside its earlier court order interdicting any strike."  

This comes as Numsa met with Eskom on Wednesday to respond to the latest wage offer made by Eskom, after it took it to its members for ratification following numerous rounds of negotiations as wage talks have deadlocked. 

Numsa accused Eskom management off negotiating in bad faith during wage talks, saying that Eskom management team's true intentions to dismiss workers were exposed as soon as parties edged closer to reaching settlement on all wage related issues.

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African News Agency (ANA)